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Dear One,

On Fridays, I’m going to include an art journalling post, some ideas for arting, writing, or just pondering.  I had such a positive response to my 60 Days of Journalling that I wanted to continue in some way.  Hopefully, you may find that you have some time over the weekend to play and ponder with colors in your hands —- and create a visual memory of your life.  Join me!

At this time of planning for the new year, I always do some sort of overview or inventory of myself and my life.  I do a little looking in the nooks and crannies to make sure that there’s nothing sitting in some corner rotting away because of neglect.  (It was a sad day last month when I realized that 1/2 a piece of cheesecake — my most favorite treat that I so rarely indulge in, but when I do I enjoy every last mouthful — had totally dried up to nothingness because I had hidden it so well in the fridge that I’d entirely forgotten about about this “saved for a rainy day” piece of bliss!)

If you’re like me, you were taught at a young age to distrust your own longings, as if all desire led to sinful acts.  At least, that was the story. . . I more often now think that the overculture as currently structured does everything it can to distract us from ourselves, the better to control us, my dear!  That editorial comment aside, I do think that the best thing I, or you, can do, is to live this life with as much consciousness and fullness and exuberant joy as possible!  So here’s to at least KNOWING what our longings might be:

Think about how you want to BE, FEEL, or what you want to DO, in the three main areas of your life:  your own SELF, such as your health and fitness, your spirituality, whatever you would call YOUR “deep and real’s”, your learning and education this year, how you express your creativity, whether or where you want to travel, etc.;  your FAMILY, such as your “inner” family — those whom you live with, your “around” family — those friends and family you interact with on a regular basis, and your “extended” family — whether genetic or chosen family;  and your COMMUNITY, such as what activities outside the home you are engaged with, people or groups you influence, or any new groups you might want to be part of.

Remember, this is not a list of “shoulds” or “oughts”.  This is an inventory of what within you longs to be explored and expressed in some way.  For heaven’s sake, do not make this another list of things you have to get done!

Here are a few ideas of how you can put this on paper in colors:  you  can make a grid, with “Be, Feel, and Do” going up and down vertically on the left, and then with “Self, Family, and Community” going across the page at the top.  Draw the lines out to create some boxes, and fill them in point form.

Now if you’d rather be out of the box, you can draw and color in either three or nine large circles across your page(s).  In each of the circles, do a free write about how you want to BE in regard to your Self, Family, and Community.  Do the free write around the inside of the circle, making a spiral towards the center, moving your page around completely as you write.  You can always draw more circles if you run out of room.  Or, have one circle for how you want to Be in regard to just your Self — there you would fill nine circles.

Yet a third option would be something I learned from Heather Plett:  create a large (about 7 inch diameter) circle on your page, then outline your non-dominant hand within the circle.  Add colors as you want, then free write your longings along the outside of the outline of your hand.  No need here to cover every Be, Feel, or Do, with all the ways you show up in the world; just write from your heart poured out into your hands.

After you finish,  nurture the page(s) with a little more color.  Ask yourself if there is more to say right now, or if you were surprised by anything you wrote.  Is there anything that you thought might be there that isn’t?  All of this is information, information that helps you live your life with more intention and liberty.

Enjoy!  And with love,

Cat

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